birkinvibes asked a question:
What is you opinion on Roy Moore and his continuous appeal to various pastors and churches in the South, and his claim that the sexual allegations against him are stemmed from the persecution he receives as someone fighting a “cultural war?”
Honestly? I feel deep shame, embarrassment, and anger about the whole thing. I feel deep grief for the women he has assaulted. I’m so tired of the evangelical community right now and exhausted to the point of wanting to call it quits on faith, church, and westernized religion. Moore is a symptom of a way deeper problem.
Too many evangelical Christians double-down on their defenses instead of owning up to their problems. Remember when Mike Guglielmucci, songwriter of “Healer,” admitted that he faked cancer? He played onstage with an oxygen mask, then admitted he faked it while collecting donations, and then said it was his because of his “porn addiction.” He couldn’t just say, “I was selfish and I lied to you and I was deceitful and what I did was evil to people with cancer.” No, he blamed it on the more socially acceptable problem of porn addiction.
Evangelical pastors like Perry Noble, Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian, Paul Sheppard, and James MacDonald have all had moral failures in the recent past, and not a single one of them has genuinely said they’re sorry (don’t even get me started on Franklin Graham). Some of them have started a church franchise somewhere else, or they stubbornly stay and continue their craziness. Their apologies read like Lena Dunham’s Twitter feed. They blame it on “culture wars” and “persecution” and “haters,” but my guess is they just can’t look in the mirror.
Are they able to be redeemed? Yes. Should they continue to stay in positions of authority? No. Not until at least some good old fashioned repentance has been done.
I’m preaching this to myself, too. Most of us can’t stand to confess and admit and say “I’m sorry that I hurt you and I was wrong.” I suppose that’s human nature. Me too; when I argue with my wife, I feel that same defensive reflex coming up. I have to catch myself. Most of us are not good at apologizing or admitting wrong. The cognitive dissonance is too much to bear.
The only thing I appreciate about Christian faith right now is that Christian theology contains the imperative to examine ourselves first. In other words, when everyone says “Christians are hypocrites,” then Christians ought to be the first to say, “You’re right.” We’re called to be the hardest on ourselves, with the right balance of gentleness and accountability. We have the spiritual resources and the mandate to be our very first critics. When we mess up, we ought to be held so accountable to ourselves that others would say, “I trust that the church is doing their best to root out the problem.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t play out that way in the western church. But Scripture, in its purest form, does call us to do it—we’re called to look at the planks in our own eyes first. I pray we get there.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? — 1 Corinthians 5:12
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. — Matthew 7:3-5